Queen of Hill Stations in India – The Ooty travelogue , Ooty places to visit , Ooty sightseeing

Ooty Waterfall - Ooty sightseeing

The honeymoon has become a tradition for the newlyweds. It is a much needed holiday after the long and tiring rituals of the wedding. What we generally look for in a place, to quote it as a perfect honeymoon destination? Well, almost every one of us wants the place to be romantic and exotic. India has a plate full of such places and Ooty is one among them. In this post, we are going to cover Ooty places to visit and all about Ooty sightseeing, also it’s our Ooty Travelogue.  The best time to visit Ooty is anytime actually ( We just love Ooty :p ) having said that generally, people visit Ooty in the summer to just have a great time by escaping the heat.

The Ooty travelogue

Ooty ( also called Udagamandalam / Ootacamund / Udhagai), the queen of hill stations in India, is one of the favorite honeymoon destinations in India. Southern India is known for its greenery and the Nilgiri mountains are an add-on to its charm. Ooty is also most preferred weekend gateway for the born to travel people in South India and how can I forget it has always been one of the most preferred places of the Bollywood filmmakers. Some of the Bollywood hits which were shot in Ooty are Raja Hindustani, Raaz, Dil Se, Barfi, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and the list continues.

Udagamandalam also Ootacamund and abbreviated as Udhagai and Ooty is a town and municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore and is the capital of the Nilgiris district. It is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Toda, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. The economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with the manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected by the Nilgiri ghat roads and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Its natural environment attracts tourists and it is a popular summer destination. As of 2011, the town had a population of 88,430.


Ooty Mountains
Amazing Ooty Mountains

Here is the list of some of the lovey-dovey places in Ooty:

Ooty Lake is one of the favorite places of JerryMouse and me. We visited the lake around 4 pm and spent most of our evening walking around the lake, clicking pictures, chatting and eating the king of Indian street foods, Golgappas, and Bhel Puri. It is a beautiful artificial lake surrounded by the Nilgiris and Eucalyptus trees. The main attraction of the place is the boathouse which is managed by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). Three types of boating facilities are offered by the boathouse; Paddleboats, Rowboats, and Motorboats. A garden and a mini amusement park are adjacent to the lake where one can enjoy a ride of a mini train. Dil Deewana, the song from the movie Maine Pyar Kiya was shot here.

Note for the foodies: You will find a lot of food stalls here selling delicious roadside foods.            

Pykara Lake and Waterfall is located at a distance of 20 km from Ooty, originates from the river Pykara. The major tourist hub of the Pyakara lake is the boathouse, maintained by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC)  which offers a ride of motor boats and speed boats.

Ooty Lake

It was early hours of the morning when we reached the Pykara lake, the place was entirely covered with fog. It was a sort of a quiet beauty which let you admire it in silence, the more you try to catch it, the more it disappears. After admiring the blues and greens of nature, we went for a chilling boat ride. Afterward, we reached the Pyakara waterfall, walking down some 300 steps. It was a long yet most beautiful walk among the pine trees; it was a “Walk to remember”.

Pykara Lake and Waterfall
Pykara Lake Boating

Note: The motor boats available here are of 2, 8 and 10 seaters, so you may need to find other groups of tourists to share the boat with. For those who find it difficult to walk down the entire distance to the Pykara waterfalls, electric auto vehicles are available. 

Ooty Waterfalls
Ooty Waterfalls

6th Mile is exactly 6 miles away from Ooty and is one of the most famous shooting point in India. The song “Pucho Zara Pucho” from the film Raja Hindustani was shot here. The place is calm and has the most striking view in Ooty. You will just love to stand and admire the serene beauty of the Nilgiris at this place and can also enjoy a horse ride up and down the hills.

Both of us went for a horse ride to the Toda Tribal Village (Toda is a tribal community who lives on the isolated Nilgiri Plateau), where we got to know about the culture of the Toda tribes. Earlier, Toda people used to practice fraternal polyandry; it is a practice in which a woman marries all the brothers of a family and the children born were considered as the descend from the elder brother. They also used to practice female infanticide. Todas are mostly vegetarians, although some of them do eat fish. They live in small hamlets called munds or Toda huts, called dogles and their main occupation is cattle-herding and dairy-work.

Ooty Pine forest
The famous pine forest in Ooty

Botanical Garden is a huge garden owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu and operated by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. The garden spreads over an area of 55 hectares and is divided into six sections: Lower garden, New garden, Italian garden, the Conservatory, the Fountain Terrace and the Nurseries. It has a great collection of several hundred species of plants, herbs, ferns, shrubs, trees, herbal and bonsai plants. The most admired tree trunk in the botanical garden is a 20 million years old fossilized tree trunk which lies in the center of the garden. This place is worth spending the evening with your friends and family.

Note for people in love with gardening: Flower shows are held each year during the month of May.

The Fernhills Palace was built in the year 1844 as a private residence. It was the former summer house of the King of Mysore. The palace has an indoor badminton court and is surrounded by lawns and woods with an eye-catching view of terraced tea gardens and valleys. The palace has now been turned into a hotel and so you can enjoy a royal stay here.

Is Fernhills Palace Haunted?

Few days before visiting Ooty, when we were making a note of places to visit, we also searched for the haunted places in Ooty. Every blogs and article we read stated Fernhills Palace to be haunted and so we decided to give it a visit. Luckily or Unluckily, we did not witness any paranormal activities. We also tried to ask the local people but no one gave us any clear answer.

is fernhill in ooty haunted

Rose Garden is located at an altitude of 2200 meters and is also owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Ooty has a tropical mountain climate which is ideal for growing roses. The garden has 20000 varieties of roses which include Miniature Roses, Ramblers, Hybrid Tea Roses, Yakimour, Polyanthas, Papagena, Floribunda, and 2800 cultivars. It is home to one of the largest collection of roses in India and has few of the rarest colors of roses such as green and black.

The rose garden has also received the Garden of Excellence Award for being the best rose garden in south Asia, from The World Federation of Rose Societies, during May 2006, in Osaka, Japan. This garden is one of the 35 gardens world wide to have won this award.

– Wikipedia

The Kamaraj Sagar Dam is an eye soothing view among the jungles beside the road.

Kamaraj Sagar Dam
Kamaraj Sagar Dam

Pine Forest situated between Ooty and Thalakunda is another favorite place of Bollywood. It is a small pine forest in a downhill area. Honeymooners are you not excited about the idea of getting lost in a pine forest together? The long pine trees, the woods, the greenery, the soothing climate, the calmness of nature, what else does one need to relax? Raaz, Barfi, Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak and many movies were shot in the pine forest. We visited the place during the afternoon when the crowd was less and so it created a perfect spooky mood for us. We played hide and seek and tried to scare each other, though every time I was the one to get scared easily.

Road to Doddabetta Peak
Road to Doddabetta Peak

Doddabetta Peak is the highest mountain of the Nilgiri hills located at an altitude of 2637 meters. It is situated at a distance of 9 km from Ooty. The view of the Nilgiris from here is beyond words. The Telescope house has two telescopes for the public to enjoy the breath-taking view. By the time we reached the peak, we were bone-tired but thanks to the people selling coconut water, it really helped us to rejuvenate. The walk, up and down the peak was exhausting but definitely worth it.

Doddabetta Tea Museum and Factory gives you a chance to know about the tea making process. First, you will be guided to the tea museum which has different sections and then to the tea factory where you can witness the process of tea making. There are stalls located at the end of each section of the museum which offers the tourists a free cup of different flavors of raw tea. You can also buy different types of tea from here and gift it to family and friends.

M& N Chocolate Museum is a place for chocolate lovers. It has different types and flavors of chocolates. Although they do not show the chocolate making process you can buy chocolates from here.

Ooty Toy train
Ooty Toy train

Hey! Do not miss the best part of Ooty, go for a romantic “Chaiyya Chaiyya” ride around the Nilgiris. Read about the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, Our Ooty toy train ride. 

Do you feel Altitude Sickness in Ooty? ( Updated in 2019 )

We have been getting this question a lot on our Facebook and Instagram pages. So here we are answering it based on our own experience. Ooty is situated at a height of 2,240 meters above sea level, and while been in Ooty we have never felt any problems. But while our journey we felt some discomfort like dizziness, headache, and vomiting. This was happening especially when we were coming down the hill in a Non-AC bus, the driver was very rough and running the bus at a very alarming speed. So we all passengers talked to the driver and it was settled.

So we wanted to let you all know that You may feel some discomfort because of the altitude while in the journey but not in Ooty. We would suggest you travel by a good vehicle like AC Volvo Bus or own Car. And don’t board those Non-AC cheap buses because if you have a tendency of vomiting while in a journey then there’s a high chance in those vehicles as the ride isn’t very smooth. Another quick remedy is to keep some cold drinks or soda with you which can stop the urge to vomit sensation for some time.

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Monalisa Bose Roy

A travel blogger cum financial expert with a vision to encourage tourism in Eastern India. Bose was born and brought up in the steel city of Jamshedpur, located in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Being born in the Eastern region, Bose has visited a lot of lesser-known places in the region. By her writing, she tries to spread awareness about those undiscovered gems of Eastern India.

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